Holding the pick

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by fish78, Feb 17, 2009.


  1. fish78

    fish78 Member

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    I have seen a couple of different ways illustrated...tell me what the consensus says is the best way to grip a pick...
     
  2. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    the consensus is there is no 'best' way. Some use a reverse angle, some use a forward angle, some do it like George Benson, some use a thumbpick, and some use no pick at all. And others, I'm sure, do different stuff I've never even considered.

    It's something best sorted out on your own.

    A message forum probably doesn't hold the answer as much as a mirror, a pick, a guitar, and your hands.

    Focus on the right hand. Observe. Pay particular attention to what makes you feel tense and what makes you feel relaxed. Shoot for effortlessness, but not lackadaisicalness. Find that focused, pointed technique-- the one that fits your body and allows you to focus ALL energy in your arm to the tip of the pick, effortlessly, wasting nothing in tightness, tension, or misdirected energy.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    I hold it between my thumb and the side of my forefinger, with the point of the pick sticking out so it's more or less perpendicular to the strings. I used to play a lot of 80's metal, so it was important to be able to easily play pinch harmonics. That pick technique allows me to easily brush my thumb across the string after the pick, creating the harmonic.
     
  4. jrkoosh

    jrkoosh Silver Supporting Member

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    do you curl your fingers in, or let you fingers out like the Crips sign:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    I learned how to play on strats, so got used to curling my fingers in to avoid hitting the volume knob and turning the guitar down.
     
  6. jpastras

    jpastras Supporting Member

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  7. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    it's cool that there is no right way and it contributes to the unique tones we all get, unlike most other instruments.
     
  8. townsend

    townsend Member

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    I didn't think much about it until I watched a video posted by a forum member, but I hold or grip the pick differently.

    The most common way to hold the pick is between the pad of the thumb and the side of the last joint of the index finger (so Bill LaFleur, Ultimate Guitar Technique: The Complete Guide [Musicians Institute], 111).

    I didn't know any better,:confused: but I grip my pick between the pad of the thumb and the pad of my index finger. Thus my index finger is pointing toward the tip of the pick. I pinch the pick between the thumb pad and finger pad, in the same way I would hold a coin after picking it up off the ground. The index finger traditionally functions in pointing, so gripping the pick in this manner feels natural, at least to me. Doesn't anybody else do this?
     
  9. jpastras

    jpastras Supporting Member

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    I alternate between that approach and the traditional method you describe.
     
  10. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    Mel Bay, lesson one. :) Works for me!

    I have noticed that most rock players I jam with use stiffer plectrums. I just got used to the med-thin Jim Dunlop grey nylon ones because they last longer. If you play surf guitar you'll understand.
     
  11. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Supporting Member

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    Everyone tells me i hold it wrong. Oh,well.
     
  12. Strung Up

    Strung Up Member

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    OutSTANDING guidance!


     
  13. shane88

    shane88 Member

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    any way u like is fine :)
     
  14. JonR

    JonR Member

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    I think a lot of people do, even some great players.
    Personally (having taught myself) I hold it between thumb and tips of index and middle - mainly middle, with support from the index (braced against the edge of the pick).

    I have tried what I call the "jazz grip" (between thumb and side of curled index) and - even tho it feels clumsy at first - I can tell that with practice it might be a very smooth way to play fast single-note lines. (The hand movement is very economical.)
    But (a) I'm too lazy to practice a new way, and (b) strumming with the jazz grip feels awkward (knuckles dangerously close to strings), and (c) I like the more variable control of pick angle and pressure I feel I have with my grip.
    (BTW, I often palm the pick and play fingerstyle, with nails, anyway... :rolleyes: )

    Here's some interesting reading:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_pick#Technique
     

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